Turkey has a great blend of bustling cities, fascinating ruins, sun-kissed beaches, colorful bazaars, fine-dining restaurants, and imposing mosques. It has many coastal towns, such as Antalya, Bodrum, Marmaris, Belek, and Fethiye, which are a big hit amongst tourists who want a relaxing beach vacation. One such underrated but beautiful beach destination is Amasra. Do you want to know what’s in store in this charming beach town? Keep reading!
Amasra is a small fishing town located in the Bartin province alongin the Black Sea coast of Turkey. It has become a sought-after destination in recent years due to its clean sandy beaches and scenic location. With a mere population of around 6,000 inhabitants, the town has a laid-back vibe. It is also a fantastic place for foodies as several cafes along the waterfront serve the most delicious seafood, salad, wine, and other local delicacies.
Amasra was formerly called Amastris, and the city was first known as Sesamus. It was part of the ancient region of Paphlagonia and was mentioned by Homer in the Iliad. It has two islands – the larger one is called Buyuk ada (Great Island), and the smaller one is called Tavsan adası (Rabbit Island).
Things to do in Amasra, Turkey
Amasra is a popular holiday destination for the people of Istanbul and Ankara due to its proximity to both cities. Though the town’s population is less, it can quickly become crowded with the residents of these neighboring cities wanting to spend a weekend in Amasra. Here are some exciting things to do in this small fishing town:
Amasra Castle was built during the Roman period, but the walls are from the Byzantine era. The Genoese built the gates and the front walls in the 14th and 15th centuries respectively. The castle is situated atop a promontory and overlooks the Boztepe and Zindan harbors. It is located on a narrow peninsula, and Dereağzı Tunnel that runs under the castle leads to a freshwater pool.
Amasra Archeological Museum
This museum showcases artifacts from its rich past related to both land and sea, dating more than 3,000 years. You can see gold and bronze items, jewelry, sculptures, pitchers, etc., from the Ottoman, Byzantine, Hellenistic, and Roman periods. One of the museum’s main attractions is the statue of Glykon, a god in the form of a snake from the Roman era.
Book a boat tour around Rabbit Island and enjoy the views of the breathtaking coastline and the bay from the waters. Several boats take visitors on tour from the marina and if you are lucky, you may spot a few dolphins during your tour.
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Kemere Bridge is a 9th-century one-arch bridge that links Amasra’s mainland to the tiny Boztepe Island. It is a great pit stop to enjoy gorgeous views of Rabbit Island and the bay, and click some beautiful pictures. If you wish to visit or stay on Boztepe Island, you must cross this bridge.
The Byzantines erected Fatih Mosque as a church in the 9th century AD. However, it was converted into a mosque during the conquest of Amasra by Fatih Sultan Mehmet in 1460.
Direkli Kaya is an ancient lighthouse with an old marble swimming pool. It is believed that Persian Princess Amastris swam here. The lighthouse is 7 meters high and a great diving spot for tourists today. It is one of the most picturesque spots in the village, and the beauty of this place will bring out the photographer in you.
Watch a sunset
There are many cliffs flanking Amasra that are best for witnessing the sun disappearing into the Black Sea. Few of these spots are just a short hike from the town center. Amasra’s natural harbor is a popular place for swimming and seeing the sunset.
Shop in the market
Amasra’s downtown area has a small street market called Çekiciler Carsisi, which is constantly buzzing with people. It is an excellent place to buy souvenirs such as homemade jams, fresh fruits, handcrafted wooden items, clothes, and other trinkets to carry for friends and family. The prices are affordable, and the vendors are very friendly and welcoming.
Laze on the beaches
Büyük Liman, Amasra Çakraz Beach, Bozköy Beach, Göçkün Beach, and Küçük Liman are some of the famous beaches in the town, and perfect spots to take a dip, build sandcastles, laze around, or enjoy some tranquil moments with nature.
Sample local food
Amasra has many waterfront restaurants serving delectable local food, especially fresh fish. Most tourists come here to relish seafood while feasting their eyes on gorgeous views of the coast. If you don’t eat seafood, you can still enjoy the views with a drink and some appetizers.
When to visit Amasra?
Here is a breakdown of the different seasons and the best time to visit Amasra.
- Summer is between June to early September when the weather is ideal for hitting the Amasra’s beaches, but it is also slightly crowded.
- Fall is between September last week and November when the weather is pleasant, but it may be slightly wet and gloomy in November. This is not a popular time to visit Amasra and you can expect fewer crowds during this season.
- Winter is from December to February, and the weather is cold and damp, and not a great season to visit this place.
- Spring is from March to May when the weather is cool. The temperature increases again in April and May; you can expect more crowds as it is the perfect time to cool down at the beaches.
Amasra is a pretty village with a glorious past and a rich cultural heritage, and it is worth applying for your Turkey visit visa. It is around a 6-hour drive from Istanbul and approximately 4 hours from Ankara. You can easily plan a day trip here from any of these places. While cities like Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Antalya have always beckoned visitors with their numerous attractions, why not visit this unexplored but lovely place on your next trip to Turkey?